The Executive Secretary of the Energy Commission, Dr. Alfred Ofosu Ahenkorah has given the assurance that members of the public who use LPG will no longer have to queue for the commodity when gas from the jubilee field comes on stream.
The intermittent shortage in gas supply in the country has been attributed to the inadequacy of storage facilities for the commodity even though the demand for gas in the country is on the increase.
Demand for gas in the country for instance is estimated to have risen from 45,000 tonnes in 2000 to 178,000 tonnes in 2010.
The Chief Executive of the National Petroleum Authority, Alex Mould on Tuesday said on Multi TV’s political talk show Majority Caucus said the Tema Oil Refinery had a gas production capacity of about 7,000 metric tonnes but “the demand that we see nowadays is close to 6 to 7,000 tonnes a week. That means we will have to fill the tanks every week.”
Dr. Ahenkora explained that efforts are being made to improve gas supply in the country. The latest is a $691,000 grant from the United States Trade and Development Authority [USTDA] for the conduct of feasibility studies on the establishment of a natural gas processing facility to boost the importation of natural gas.
This project when carried out would reduce the country’s dependence on natural gas from Nigeria through the West African Gas Pipeline.
According to Dr. Ahenkorah, although Ghana is expected to receive 123 million standard cubic feet of gas per day through the West African Gas Pipeline “we’ve never had anything beyond 90 million [standard cubic feet]” since the inauguration of the gas pipeline which he said can accommodate 470 million cubic feet of natural gas.
He added that “there are no indications that we’ll get more than that in the next three years so the contract volume to be delivered will be 120 or 123 million feet a day.”
The jubilee field, he noted, is expected to produce some 120 million standard cubic feet of gas per day but of this quantity, part will be used to power the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah, another part will be re-injected into the well [“it’s part of the production process, there’s nothing you can do about that”] and what is left will be processed from the gas processing facility to power the Aboadze thermal plant and Osagyefo barge at Efasso.
Dr. Ahenkorah however noted that the jubilee supplies as well as the supply from the West African Gas Pipeline combined will not be enough to meet the demand for natural gas in the country.
“Natural gas can be compressed and turned into liquid and shipped”, he noted, adding that once the study is conducted, it will help the country import natural gas in liquefied forms from other gas producing countries.
“So you’re not tied to only the Nigerian source. You can have natural gas from Bahrain … from Qatar … from Venezuela, you can have natural gas from anywhere that natural gas is available. So you have a ship docked and connected to a pipeline which will come and connect to our local pipeline, so it will allow us to import natural gas but in a liquefied form.”